As the school year comes to an end, RHS students find themselves with an increasing amount of free time on their hands, leading up to a glorious two and a half month long hiatus from school. Everyone needs a break from the overload of homework, tests, and essays they struggle through during the school year, but when there’s not much to do, summer can get boring. Vacations, college trips, and athletics can only take up so much time before one starts to grow tired of the lack of routine in his or her life. To stay proactive this summer, every teen with a flexible schedule should try and find a job. Here are some tips that will guide you through the job search process so you can stay busy this summer and make some money!
As a high-schooler, your options are limited to the kind of jobs you can apply for. Most companies are looking for mature, responsible, and experienced workers, and either cannot hire teenagers for legal reasons or feel that they don’t fit this criteria. To avoid this dilemma, think of the kinds of jobs that a minor could do. This obviously does not include working at a bar or liquor store, or any job that requires a college degree. Restaurants, clothing and grocery stores, local athletic facilities such as the YMCA, and country clubs are perfect for workers below the age of 18. Summer day camps, such as the Ridgewood Summer Day Camp at Graydon Pool, and sleep away camps are very popular places to work and hire many teenagers as camp counselors. Community pools and private swim clubs like to employ high school students as lifeguards and concession stand workers as well; but remember, one must be certified in order to be a lifeguard. These are just a few examples of places that might employ a high-schooler.
However, before you start investigating on your own, ask around town and see if anyone knows if there are any available job positions nearby. Unless you are dead-set on where you want to work, get in contact with as much businesses as possible. Also, if a family member or friend has a connection, take advantage of it. It is important that you get a job as quickly as possible before they start filling up when summer begins.
After finding a suitable, open position comes the application part of the job search process. Many businesses require applicants to fill out forms explaining why they want the position they are applying for and what credentials they have. They obviously do not expect a lengthy resume from a sixteen year old, but, by looking at the person’s other activities, hope to see that he or she are responsible and can take leadership. Another common thing employers do is ask the job applicant to cite a few credible people that can validate the kind of person and worker the applicant is. This list may include coaches, teachers, or other authority figures that he or she has developed a strong relationship with and know his or her determination. Sometimes, the employers will ask for a face to face interview with the applicant. In this situation, remember to be confident and polite, and express to the interviewers how grateful you would be to work at their establishment.
Summer jobs have a profound impact on student’s lives. According to graduating RHS Student Grace McLaughlin, “working in the summer months has given me a sneak peak of what life after school entails.” Hopefully your job hunt this summer is successful! Good luck!
Graphic: Amelia Chen